New York Whistleblower Lawyers
Experienced Qui Tam Lawyers Assisting Clients in New York and Beyond
If you witnessed misconduct against the state of New York, you can take action on the government’s behalf. The qui tam attorneys at the Whistleblower Law Firm represent clients who are aware of wrongdoing against local, state, or federal governments. With more than 200 years of combined experience, our lawyers are knowledgeable in New York and U.S. laws. We can assist you in bringing to light fraud, misconduct, and other forms of wrongdoing.
Taking Action under the State False Claims Act
The New York False Claims Act (NYFCA) imposes liability on any person or entity that defrauds the state of New York, a local government, or a municipal corporation, such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Some activities that violate the NYFCA include:
- Knowingly making or presenting a false claim or statement for payment;
- Conspiring to make or present a false claim;
- Keeping government property; or
- Concealing or decreasing a payment obligation.
The attorney general is responsible for investigating and prosecuting a NYFCA violation, but a private individual can commence a civil action against a wrongdoer. This is known as a qui tam claim. The plaintiff in a qui tam lawsuit must prepare a complaint and include a written disclosure of the evidence he or she has about the possible NYFCA violation. The attorney general then will determine whether it will take over the case, although there are some limitations to its ability to intervene if the case involves damages to a city with a population of over one million.
The NYFCA rewards whistleblowers with 15 to 25 percent of the proceeds recovered by the government if the case is successful. If the government declines to take the case, the plaintiff can proceed on his or her own. If successful, he or she may receive a reward of between 25 and 30 percent of the recovered amount.
The NYFCA also gives whistleblowers the right to seek relief from employers who retaliate for protected actions. A current or former employee, contractor, or agent is entitled to damages if he or she can prove that the employer retaliated for actions that are covered under the statute. These actions include filing a qui tam claim or taking any action to stop a violation. If you can prove that your employer retaliated against you, you could seek job reinstatement, double back pay with interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
The NYFCA is closely modeled on the federal False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA imposes liability for fraudulent claims made against the federal government. The NYFCA and the FCA are similar in that they permit private individuals to take action under a qui tam provision and offer financial incentives and other protections to whistleblowers. The NYFCA, however, differs in some significant areas. For instance, a person can bring a qui tam claim under the NYFCA for tax fraud if the defendant has at least one million dollars in net sales or income, and the damages exceed $350,000, whereas the FCA specifically excludes tax fraud. Also, the statute of limitations under the NYFCA is 10 years, compared to six years for an FCA violation.
Other federal laws encourage disclosure of specific types of fraud or misconduct. For instance, the Dodd-Frank Act encourages and protects whistleblowers who witnessed securities law violations, such as market manipulation, bribery, or misstatements in public filings. The Securities and Exchange Commission is responsible for investigating these claims. The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 protects whistleblowers who report tax violations to the Internal Revenue Service and allows the agency to reward whistleblowers. We can advise you on which laws apply in your case and represent you in disclosing your information to the government.
New York Attorneys Skilled in Bringing Whistleblower Claims
At our law firm, we understand the significance of reporting fraud and other illegal activity to the government. Our whistleblower lawyers are skilled advocates with a detailed understanding of New York and federal laws as well as the intricate nature of reporting violations to the appropriate entity. We can advise you on your rights and help you protect your interests. Call our office today at (800) 982-1904 or contact us via our online form for a confidential consultation at no cost to you.